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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why I Dance with Passion

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

 I often describe my writing as “lyrical stories that dance with light.” My debut novel is called, Dance of the Dandelion, and I have two other completed manuscripts titled Dance from Deep Within, and Dancing After the Wind. Hmm. Do you see a recurring theme here? Yes, I love dance. It’s a huge part of who I am, how I live, how I write, and even how I relate to God.
I have had the honor serving as a worship dance choreographer and director for eighteen years, and I have discovered that dance is at its core, a form of communication. It can be used in as many ways as words themselves: worship, praise, prayer, intercession, warfare, prophecy, evangelism, teaching, and yes, even fun and entertainment.

Throughout my writing, dance becomes a metaphor for life: for the willingness to step beyond yourself, to embrace the wonder about you, to move in harmony with the universe. Yet dance is an actual physical expression as well. As joy and celebration build within, they require an outlet. And so, our hands and feet begin to move, our bodies begin to sing and flow, releasing emotions from our hearts and culminating in dance. Even releasing the heavenlies deep within through our fingertips and toes.

Dance is a fundamental form of human expression. It can be found throughout history in nearly every culture. It can be found in the Old Testament as a form of celebration, praise, and worship. Dance is often a community expression, drawing us together in unity and love. David danced before the Lord with all his might, and God was well pleased. Even Jesus spoke of his frustration with the generation around him by saying in Matthew 11, "We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.” Yet how often do we stifle this wondrous outlet?

Most churches today that incorporate contemporary choruses sing songs about dance. “Dance with me, oh lover of my soul.” "Dancers who dance upon injustice.” “We will dance on the streets that are golden.” “Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace.” The list goes on and on, but do we take it seriously, or do we stand still and sing the words, hampering our bodies from becoming living, breathing expressions of praise. 

Romans 12:1 instructs, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." Of course this scripture has many applications, but I prefer to take it quite literally.

Dance may or may not be acceptable in your church’s culture. However, I encourage you, on your own, at home, in your prayer closet and throughout your life to offer up your bodies as living sacrifices of praise. Embrace and enjoy the wonder of dance. Take time to relate with God through this amazing form of expression. And, as you've probably heard me say before, join me as I explore the unforced rhythms of grace. 

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